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My Scholarship entry - A local encounter that changed my life

WORLDWIDE | Tuesday, 24 April 2012 | Views [517] | Scholarship Entry

She speaks without moving her lips, she follows you with her immovable look and gives you a warning sing without even needing to lift any of her limbs.

The first time i saw her she was wearing an embroidered dress made with white thread covered with a thin vail from the waist down. I had just arrived to Trinidad Cuba. The day had started for me walking through stone streets surrounded with houses of multiple colors that could not be scared by the passing of the years, but have grand windows and balconies in order to make of tourists and locals the visual witnesses of the joy, the camaraderie and of course, the traditional cuban beliefs.

I saw her through one of those windows that left nothing to imagination. She was sitting in a rocking chair and was wearing what I understood was an impeccable wedding dress. My eyes met her fixed glare, that I could not hold. She was a black skin doll with golden eyes and red lips. She was around 1.40 cm's long and had her attention in the people that approached the window. The door of the house was kept open and on top of the entrance was the phrase "Si no sabes, no te metá" ("If you don't know don't come in"). When I arrived to the place where I was staying, I asked the owner what was the meaning of that simple sentence, and she told me that it was witchcraft and Santeria and that phrase was a verse of Yemaya (an Orisha of the african-american religion) to protect and warn. I walked the same street more than once a day and always the door to that house was open, and always I could see the black doll in a white dress sitting in her rocking chair, with the only difference that we no longer had eye contact because I didn't look straight to her.

In Trinidad there are saints of all shapes: plastic, ceramic, marble and even of flesh and bones. The amazing thing is that you can see them all around town. Some of them call this phenomena witchcraft, I decided to call it magic.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

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